Intelligent Travel

About Intelligent Travel

Cultural, Authentic & Sustainable: This is your brain on travel. We showcase the essence of place, what's unique and original, and what locals cherish most about where they live. And we highlight places, practices, and people that are on the front lines of sustainable travel--travel that preserves places' essential uniqueness for future generations.

Our mission is rooted in what the National Geographic Society stands for: inspiring people to care about the planet. Traveler and Intelligent Travel also want you to experience and enjoy the planet. We want to help you journey with greater sensitivity to the impact your trip has on a place and its inhabitants.

Sometimes we celebrate, sometimes we criticize. But we always try to heighten awareness about what's really important about travel: finding great places, experiencing them fully, and leaving them no worse for your visit.

Email: intelligenttravel at ngs dot org

On Location: Five Scene-Stealing ‘Star Wars’ Sets

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They may not be in a galaxy far, far away, but exotic locales such as the soaring sand dunes of Abu Dhabi and Iceland’s bubbling calderas help give Star Wars: The Force Awakens—which hits theaters in December—an otherworldly spirit similar to the original trilogy’s.

Ten Ways to Go Local in Bulgaria

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As Andrew Nelson writes in a recent feature story he wrote for Traveler magazine, Bulgaria is a whirlpool of civilizations. “Everyone, it seems, has come [here]. The Thracians, with their gold. Rome, with its legions. The Asiatic Bulgars, the country’s namesake. Also Huns, Slavs, Jews, Turks, with their many traditions.” Here are ten ways to do like the locals do in this Balkan beauty.

Brilliant: Top Ten Yorkshire Experiences

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From the North York Moors to the wild east coast of northern England, Yorkshire offers some of the most dramatic landscapes in the British Isles. Here are the top 10 things to experience in this historic county.

Big on Charm: Colonial Cartagena

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Your calendar might say winter’s drawing near, but Cartagena de Indias, just a few degrees north of the Equator, is warm year-round. Flowers, the season’s clear skies, and world-class cultural events create an eclectic allure in this coastal resort city in Colombia.

Twitter Chat: Where to Travel in 2016

Which 20 destinations received a coveted place on National Geographic Traveler’s “Best of the World” list this year? Be among the first to find out by joining @NatGeoTravel for a live Twitter chat on Thursday, November 19 at 1 p.m. ET.

Great Read: Unfettered Yorkshire

Part serene dream, part gothic scream—England’s northern countryside keeps road-trippers guessing.

Thursday Twitter Chat: Foodie Travel

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Join Traveler contributing editor Andrew Nelson—and fellow foodies around the world—for @NatGeoTravel’s next Twitter chat at 1:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 12.

Surfing Sand in the Arabian Desert

Sandboarding may have been invented on California’s coastal dunes, but the sport reaches new adrenaline-packed heights on the rolling dunes of the Arabian Desert.

Spiritual Slumber Party: ‘Champing’ in England

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Falling asleep in church has been frowned upon—until now. Thanks to the Churches Conservation Trust, four of England’s historic churches become hallowed hostels by night.

Layover Love: Keeping Fit on the Fly

Flight delayed? Long layover? Instead of waiting at the gate, you can pump iron, swim laps, or downward dog on a yoga mat without leaving the airport.

Free-Wheeling India: Kerala By Bike

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Slow life down with a ride among elephants and temples in the magical backwaters of southern India.

Finland’s Sauna Obsession

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Get the skinny on taking a dip in Scandinavia’s hot sauna hot spot.